Natural Resources Strategic Plan
Student Researcher: Dillon McBride
In 2019 Denver Parks and Recreation (DPR) released the Game Plan for a Healthy City (Game Plan) update which establishes policies, goals, and a vision for the future of Denver Parks. The Game Plan is “a citywide parks and recreation plan for the next 20 years that proclaims easy access to parks and open space is a basic right for all residents” (Game Plan). The Game Plan seeks to establish climate resilient and sustainable landscapes, park, parkway, and greenway standards for the future of Denver Parks. The Game Plan guiding principles are every drop, every person, every dollar, and uniquely Denver (Game Plan).
The Natural Resources Strategic Plan (NRSP), will keep consistent with the goals outlined in the Game Plan by identifying priority park space, and DPR maintained areas that are candidates for landscape conversion, and water saving opportunities. While landscape typology planning takes into consideration a wide variety of inputs, the primary objective of this planning process is saving water and reduced maintenance costs for the Denver Parks and Recreation park system. Therefore, the Game Plan guiding principle of “Every Drop” is the driving force behind the Natural Resources Strategic Plan.
The Natural Resource Strategic Plan, 2019 (NRSP) is an actionable planning document that outlines priority parks for water saving opportunities and turf conversions over the next six years. The need for this strategic plan derives from: (1) the need for water conservation in Denver Parks in the face of climate change and limited resources; and (2) low or under performing landscape typologies in Denver Parks. Each theme is broken down to identify specific projects within the DPR system that qualify as either a water-saving project or a landscape conversion project. Water-saving projects will focus on native vegetation within upland, riparian, and wetland typologies in Denver Parks that are being irrigated and should be turned off of irrigation. Landscape conversion projects will focus on bluegrass and bluegrass forested landscape typologies within Denver parks that are adjacent to a waterbody, and should be converted to riparian or native vegetation.